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Symco Hotrod & Kustom Weekender Car Show

Symco Hotrod & Kustom Weekender Car Show

By John Gunnell

Thousands of “traditional” hot rod enthusiasts traveled to the unicorporated village of Symco, Wis., in north central Wisconsin, to participate in the 2019 Symco Hotrod & Kustom Weekender. The hot rodders turned the sleepy little whistlestop into a trip back to the years from after World War II to the beginning of the Viet Nam conflict.

Men and women who are into re-creating the bounciness of the ‘50s and ‘60s lifestyle enjoy this event because it features attractions a large vintage camper section, pinup girls, pinup girl clothing for sale, old-time beauty contests, min-bike drag races and parades, classic bicycles, barbers giving ducktail haircuts and rockabilly bands.

“Symco” is held in an antique village created when members of the Union Threshermen—an antique tractor club--moved ancient structures to the make-believe village of Unionville. The grounds there—also used for tractor pulls, weddings and other events—feature a Main St. with old buildings ranging from an actual church that hosts weddings to a police station, bank, post office, blacksmith shop and more.     

Symco also draws some of the best “old school” hot rods and custom cars in the Badger State, as well as from throughout the Midwest. Other types of vehicles are also allowed entry to alternate parking areas. All cars must be from earlier than 1975, but the focus is on pre-1965 traditional hotrods and customs with two or more modifications or pre-1961 stock vehicles. All bikes must be pre-1970. If you want to get great ideas for building a car or truck Symco is a great place to see what the latest hot rodding fads are. 

A swap meet with auto parts and nostalgia items is part of the show. The vendors at Symco sell everything from balloon style bicycle tires to pinstriping services. Pinup girls can even get their pocketbooks pinstriped. 

Good weather added to the success of the 2019 Symco Hotrod & Kustom Weekender. Vintage camping enthusiasts Vicki and Rich Tessmer of Weston, Wis., won the Symco raffle prize—a purple Advance-Design Chevy pickup with a brand-new crate motor. Rich had to be convinced by friends that he had actually won the truck.


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